There are lots of healthy habits to acquire; walking outdoors, saving money, and cooking meals at home are all great ideas. But I have a list of eight non-negotiable daily habits that everyone benefits from. Identify the ones you’d like to start, and use our Practical Tips to Start a New Habit to incorporate them into your life!
8 Non-Negotiable Daily Habits
1. Get up at the same time each day. When you wake up at the same time each day, you train yourself to sleep better. Having a daily wakeup time helps start your day off right.
Imagine this: It’s a Friday night, and you want to cook, but your sink is full of three-day-old dishes and Tupperware from lunches this week—yuck! You know it would be better to keep on top of your dishes every day so the kitchen is clear whenever you want to use it, but how do you start a new habit like that? Instead of hoping you magically achieve perfect dish discipline overnight, use these techniques to build a solid habit.
What’s the best way to maintain a new habit? Whether you’re training for a marathon, want to keep better track of your finances, or want to start eating an apple a day, new habits need some maintenance, or they won’t stick. There are several ways to do this, including:
Use a habit tracker
There are many ways to track your new habit. You can make your own with a sheet of graph paper, or there are resources like this free printable habit tracker from Organize to Excel that you can download.
Of course there are also lots and lots of apps to choose from! Some are free like HabitShare, an app that lets you share your habits with friends, and some are paid like Streaks, which features reminders and statistics and comes in at $4.99.
When you think about organizing with teens, you may want to close the door and ignore everything. (Just kidding! But, really, give yourself a break.) But if you help them take ownership of their space by giving them storage options and create a compelling “why,” you’ll have a much easier time.
Create a compelling “why”
Remember being a kid? How annoying was it to have a chore mandated with no explanation? Instead of using “Because I said so,” work with your child to come up with a good reason (or reasons) why they should clean their room. Maybe they want to be able to find the Lego they want instead of hunting for it in a huge, messy pile. Maybe they want space in their room to swing a sword around, or to have a cozy reading nook.
Ask them! “What do you want to be able to do in your room that you can’t do when it’s messy?”
Getting their input and finding out their reason to organize will not only help motivate them to take responsibility for their space, but you might also learn about an interest you didn’t know they had!
Keeping up with your kid’s clothes and toys helps your house remain tidy. Here are a few tips I use when I organize with young kids.
They need support
My philosophy when it comes to organizing with young kids is “Help, but don’t do.” Organizing alongside your children instead of doing it for them helps them develop healthy habits. Give them the support they need, but don’t do everything for them. Kids often enjoy helping, and it’s a great thing to encourage in them.
It can seem chaotic to organize with kids, but using the acronym I CARE helps keep everyone on task!
To organize with kids, start with setting goals together. Everyone is unique and has their own ideas of what being “organized” means. Take the time to ask your kids questions and find out what they think! Do they want more space to play? Do they want to be able to see all the toys they love, instead of having to dig through a bin full of toys they like and toys they don’t? If your kids understand why they’re organizing, it will be easier to motivate them. Instead of organizing FOR kids, it’s important to organize WITH kids.
Back-to-school season is almost here, are you ready? Here are some things to keep in mind that will make this hectic time go smoothly.
Changes in schedule
Switching from the relaxed schedule of summer break back to a school schedule takes some planning to minimize stress. Before school’s back in session, map out the plan with your kids so everyone knows what to expect. Pick a wakeup time that accommodates how long it takes everyone to get dressed and eat breakfast.
Are the kids buying lunch at school, or do you pack food from home? For packed lunches, it’s best to assemble them the night before. That way you’re less likely to forget something, and in the morning the kids can grab and go.
Don’t buy what you don’t need; instead of heading to the store and guessing what supplies will be required for the year, wait until you have lists from teachers. To make it extra simple, combine all supply lists into one master list so you have one document to reference when you’re at the store.
Before you go shop, take a look around your house and see what you already have at home. Check off what you already have on your master list, then bring the list with you to the store. If you use lists and think before you shop, you’re likely to get everything you need in one trip!
This is a scary question. Is your financial disorganization costing you? Or worse, how much is your financial disorganization costing you? Because if your finances are not in order, I can virtually guarantee it’s costing you something.
Do you struggle to keep your financial paperwork under control? Do you have little piles of receipts all over your office? Or are they shoved in a box to hand over to your accountant at tax time?
There are two secrets to keeping on top of it all so you don’t miss important deductions–and your poor accountant is not pulling their hair out at the end of the year!
Set up a filing system that is easy to use and accessible.
Do a little bit often.
The simplest filing system mirrors your accounting system. The categories you use when entering expenses into your accounting system will be the same you use for your filing. Make a folder for each category of spending you get receipts for. Each week, after you enter your receipts and invoices into your financial tracking system (ledger, spreadsheet, Quickbooks, etc.), simply drop the receipts into the appropriate folder. You will keep track of your spending and your income and know where you stand each month.
Summer is a great time to spend outdoors. There’s the beach, sports, walks in the mountains, or gardening in your back yard. Most of the gear you need for your summer outdoor activities is stored in the garage. Why not make it easy to access so you spend as little time there as possible and more time out doing the activities you want to do? Get the most out of your garage by using these 6 tips.
1. Keep all the things you use for one activity together
It’s much faster to get out the door when all your gear for an activity is together. Let’s take going camping. It used to take us a couple of hours to get everything together from various places around the house and garage. Now we can have our car packed with all our camping gear for a weekend in about 20 minutes. We all have “camping clothes” that we can quickly throw in a bag. We have a separate box that we keep all our camping cutlery, dishes and kitchen supplies in that stays in the garage ready to go. All our camping gear is in one section of shelving within the garage, so we literally just have to back up our car and load everything straight in.